Four of the province’s best men's basketball teams will gather at the Mattamy Athletic Center in Toronto this weekend for the OUA Final Four which will be broadcast on Sportsnet ONE. Up for grabs will be the highly prized Wilson Cup which has resided at Carleton University for the past two years. The four teams partaking in the event are the McMaster Marauders, Carleton Ravens, Windsor Lancers and the Ottawa Gee-Gees.
The Gee-Gees will tip-off their tournament on Friday night at 8 p.m. against the OUA West’s top team, the McMaster University Marauders. The Windsor Lancers, who finished the season in second place in the West will get things going on Friday at 6 p.m. They will take on the Ravens who spent the entire regular season ranked no.1 in the country, finishing with a perfect 22-0 record. The Ravens will be aiming for a third consecutive Wilson Cup victory and a sixth in the last eight years.
The nationally fifth-ranked Marauders finished the regular season atop the OUA West standings with an 18-4 record and finished third in the CIS in points scored during the regular season. Both teams from the west were very evenly matched in the regular season with each was able to take a victory in two regular season meetings. McMaster will be looking to capture their first Wilson Cup since their 2005-2006 season.
“They are a very deep team in terms of players who can play substantial minutes and we are aware of that. They can also play with a big line up or small. So they do a lot of good things. I don’t want my guys thinking that because we beat Ryerson last weekend that this game will be any easier. We just have to focus on the game on Friday and be ready for a tough game,” said Gee-Gees head coach James Derouin.
McMaster’s inside and out game will pose the most substantial threat to the Gee-Gees as they are armed will many offensive weapons. Regular season top scorer Joe Rocca was lights out for the Marauders in the regular season, shooting 40.2 per cent from beyond the arc and averaging 14.1 points per game.
Taylor Black also poses a threat from inside and out and finished the regular season ranked 10th in the country in rebounds. Something the Gee-Gees, and more specifically Gabriel Gonthier-Dubue, will have to attend to in order to defeat McMaster this Friday.
“I’m going to have to be very physical with him [Taylor Black] and contest every single shot he takes. I want to make him dribble the ball and force him into a double teams -- hopefully that will create some turnovers,” said Gonthier-Dubue.
Gonthier-Dubue was indispensable in the Gee-Gees win over the Rams last weekend as the team showed tremendous confidence in the centre, using him as a number one option in most of the game. The fourth-year has once again proven to be a playoff performer as he followed up his 31 point performance in last year’s OUA East quarter final against Ryerson with yet another strong performance. He posted 15 points and 10 rebounds along with four assists while shooting 4-5 from the free throw line.
“What drives me in these big games is the fact that our season is on the line and I don’t want it to end. One thing that I have noticed is that years as a basketball player go by very quickly so I want to make the most out of my time and enjoy it as much as possible,” said Gonthier-Dubue.
“This team and coaching staff have so much confidence in Gab [Gonthier-Dubue] and that is really important. It seems like every time we would get him the ball in past games something good happened so we stuck with it. There are many guys on this team that can make big plays and he is one of them,” said Derouin.
Following Friday's semifinals, the OUA championship game is set for 6 p.m. on Saturday while the bronze medal match will be at 4 p.m. All four games will be broadcast live on SportsnetONE.